Jan. 23, 2020

Justice Leaders to Introduce Two Screenings of Just Mercy at The Tull Family Theater

Just Mercy (PG-13), based on the 2014 memoir of the same title, depicts systemic injustice through the battle to free an innocent man. The acclaimed film opens Friday, Jan. 24, at The Tull Family Theater, starring Michael B. Jordan as attorney Bryan Stevenson, and Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillian, a poor black man who spent six years on death row in Alabama for a murder he did not commit.

An experienced advocate and a well-known attorney will add dimension to this film through brief introductions at two different screenings.

Starting at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, Sister Kari Pohl will discuss her work as Congregational Coordinator of Justice and Peace for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, advocating on behalf of immigrants and other people challenged by  hunger and food security, water and air pollution, the health care system, racism and human trafficking. The Sisters of St. Joseph have been committed to working toward the abolishment of the death penalty since 1991. Pohl, a registered nurse, first became interested after reading the book Dead Man Walking and is a member of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty-Pittsburgh, a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to ending executions in the state.

Starting at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, attorney Martha Richards Conley, a long-time opponent of the death penalty, will introduce the film. Conley co-chairs Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty–Pittsburgh and as an Official Visitor of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, she has been visiting death row inmates for nearly 20 years. In 2007, she was honored to escort Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to visit Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row.  A former member of the Board of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Conley was elected to its Honorary Board in 2014 and the statewide board in 2018.

Conley was the first African American female graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the first African American woman admitted to practice law in Allegheny County. The university and the Pitt Law Women’s Association are among those who have recognized her accomplishments. Employed by The United States Steel Corp. for 27 years, she retired as Senior General Attorney.

Each of the film screenings will directly follow the introductions.

Just Mercy has been applauded by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. NPR.com declares that the film“has already become a touchstone of criminal justice writing for helping change the conversation around capital punishment in America. The invocation of race, class, and setting in McMillian’s case is unmissable—particularly since he was from Monroeville, Alabama, home of Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird, and residents seemed to be living out a remake of her novel… ”

“It’s never less than engrossing,” declares the UK Times.

For other dates and show times, please visit www.thetullfamilytheater.org.

The Tull Family Theater, 418 Walnut St., Sewickley, is an independent nonprofit cinema. Directions to the Theater and information about parking, which is available in a municipal lot next to the Theater and on the street, is available online at www.thetullfamilytheater.org/directions.

The Tull Family Theater, a 501(c)(3) Pennsylvania nonprofit, is a film-based arts organization created to strengthen cultural, educational and entertainment experiences in the region northwest of Pittsburgh. Supported by diverse revenue streams from private, public, corporate and foundation funding, the theater counts among its donors, including the Allegheny Regional Asset District, Huntington Bank, Esmark and the Bouchard Family, more than 700 individuals and its patrons, including Sustaining Circle members. This support sustains and expands programming at this independent cinema in Sewickley offering two screens and an event/performance space.

Contact: Karen Ferrick-Roman, Karen@thetullfamilytheater.org, cell 412.671.1456

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